Giants look to start new win streak against Reds

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Veteran right-hander Alex Cobb aims to continue his strong stretch when he leads the San Francisco Giants into the finale of a four-game series vs. the host Cincinnati Reds on Thursday afternoon

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Cobb (6-2, 2.82 ERA) struck out seven batters over six innings in a 2-0 win over the Seattle Mariners on July 5. The 35-year-old followed that up with a scoreless inning in the All-Star Game on July 11 before allowing one run on four hits in six frames of a no-decision against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday.

“I think that we probably looked at this stretch of the season in March and April as a time that was going to be crucial for us,” Cobb said. “Now when we’re here and in that moment, we know that we need to show up and really not take any of these series lightly and take care of business because we have a really tough schedule in August.

“We’re going to need to make a statement coming out of the break this year.”

The Giants did precisely that by extending their winning streak to seven games before dropping a 3-2 decision to the Reds on Wednesday night

Cincinnati’s No. 9 hitter, Will Benson, provided the big blow with a three-run homer in the third inning. Benson’s second blast in as many days held up for the Reds, who snapped a six-game skid

“I think it’s a combination of trusting my work and going out there and having a solid approach and being ready to swing,” Benson told Bally Sports Cincinnati. “For all of the young hitters out there that are hopefully listening: It’s all about knowing yourself, trusting your mechanics and then really being aggressive and learning.”

Reds manager David Bell credited the work of his bullpen after his relievers were taken to task in an 11-10 setback against the Giants on Tuesday

“The three guys that we wanted to get into the game (Wednesday) if we had an opportunity to win were the three that pitched,” Bell said of Ian Gibaut, Lucas Sims and Alexis Diaz. “They did a great job, and everybody else got a break. Not much margin for error, but we got it done.”

Cobb, who is 2-1 with a 1.48 ERA in four career starts against Cincinnati, will square off against Reds rookie left-hander Andrew Abbott (4-2, 2.45 ERA) on Thursday afternoon

Abbott, 24, has struggled to keep the ball in the park of late, surrendering two homers in each of his past two outings and eight in his past five trips to the mound.

He allowed a pair of solo homers and three hits overall in six innings during a 3-0 setback to the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday.

Abbott has yet to face the Giants in his career. He likely will need to pitch carefully to Blake Sabol, who belted an opposite-field homer to lead off the seventh inning on Thursday

“He’s been pretty consistent,” San Francisco manager Gabe Kapler said of Sabol. “He’s not just using the small part of the park to the pull side. He drives the ball out of the ballpark to the middle of the field.”

–Field Level Media

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